Did you know that the freelancer that gets trashed the most by a client is a web designer? If you talk to the client and ask them what went wrong they’ll tell you that they didn’t get what they wanted.
If you ask the web designer what went wrong it’s the client wanting everything for nothing – scope creep.
Web designers we feel your pain!
If you’ve got an online presence the chances are you are paying a website designer. Maybe you call them a web developer, or perhaps you’re trading skills with someone for your website. Either way, this is one of the most profitable relationships you will have with a freelancer online, and you want to make sure you get it right so that you’re not the person at a coffee morning looking for a new website designer.
Here at KoffeeKlatch, we know that web designers are great people who often get caught up in managing their client expectations whilst still using their creative skills to deliver a website that works for everyone. We also believe that an educated client is a better client. This means when the client (you) understand the website design process you’ll be a better client and your website designer will be easier to work with!
Clear and concise plans are the first steps to a better working relationship with your website developer! In this blog post, we’ll go through some of the website design options that you’ll need to consider when you’re paying a website designer.
Things to Consider BEFORE hiring your website designer
When you’re creating a website there are a number of decisions to make before you talk to your website designer.
In addition to your budget and the creation process, there are other features and functions to consider. Given how many platforms / software options that are available it can be overwhelming. Start with these 7 things to help you get the best from your web tech person.
- What’s the purpose of your website? This is perhaps your single most important consideration. When you know your website’s purpose there are some design options that just make sense. For example, if you’re going to be an affiliate marketer and your website’s purpose is strictly to provide information, then you’ll likely want a CMS or a theme-based website. A brochure website is different again, and an eCommerce store completely different from an affiliate site or brochure site. Know your site’s purpose first and then you can choose the tools that will build it with your website designer.
- What’s your budget? Believe it or not, you can design a professional-looking website on just about any budget. You don’t have to spend a million or two. That being said, you may want to hire a professional so the job is done right the first time. A professional can help you integrate all of the design elements and technologies right from the start, or build it so that you can upgrade it later. If you have a low start-up budget, consider having an existing template or design modified by a website designer.
- Who is your audience? Your audience plays a very important role in the design of your website. It’s not about what you love, but what your prospects will respond too. Not only do you want to make sure your site is easy to navigate, you also want to make sure it appeals to your audience. If they’re cutting edge, then you’ll want a modern look and feel. If your audience is older, then you may want a more mature design. Does your website niche fit better with video content or print content? How are you going to connect with your prospects, visitors and customers? Your site’s design needs to support your audience and their needs and desires.
- Efficiency and logic. While the appearance of a website is important, so too is the user’s experience. Ideally, a site will feel intuitive. Everything will be easy to find and apparent. Your visitors won’t have to dig for information and if they are digging it’s because you want them to. This means logical content categories, Relevant and easy-to-access pages (for example your about, affiliate, press and FAQ pages), Streamlined processes (for example shopping cart, opt-in and download processes). Before you design your site or have someone design it for you, plan it on paper. Know exactly what your site’s purpose is and create a plan to make it happen. Research other sites in your industry. Research keywords so you know how your prospects search and what they will type to find your business. If you can’t research keywords ask if this can be included in your website design. Some designers offer this or are happy to introduce you to someone who can.
- Take a look at the various technologies that can support your site and its purpose. Some website design services offer seamless integration. Your website designer will also be able to help you choose the tools that will best convey the feeling and experience that you want. Note whether these tools are in addition to the cost of the design and whether you can find a VA with experience of the tools you plan to use.
- Keep your visitors’ experience at the heart of every decision and communicate that over to your website designer.
- Check your website designer’s agreement. I know contracts aren’t sexy, but there are things you need to know like… What consitutes a finished site? Where have the visuals on the site come from and their copyright?
You’ll also need to ensure your website designer is GDPR friendly… That’s a whole new blog post!
The above 7 things are all things you need to think about before paying your website designer.
What would you add to the list?